Black Mold or Mildew

Black mold is a common mold that grows in damp and humid areas of your home. It is often referred to as "mildew". Black mold is quite toxic and should be eliminated from your living environment as soon as possible.

Molds are a subset of fungi that produce fluffy or powdery growth on surfaces. Toxic molds can grow on cloth, carpet, leather, wood, sheetrock, insulation (and on human foods) when moist conditions exist. And once mold has been established, it can be quite tricky to get rid of it.

Exposure to mold can cause cold-like symptoms, respiratory problems, nasal and sinus congestion, watery eyes, sore throat, coughing and skin irritations and can trigger asthma attacks. Because some mold spores are very small and can easily be breathed deeply into the lungs, it is not safe to live in houses with high mold levels. Exposure to high mold spore levels can cause development of an allergy to mold. People can react to mold whether it is living or dead.
Mold can fundamentally grow anywhere there is enough moisture. As a result, you have to thoroughly inspect your home for the presence of mold.

Common places include:

  1. Inside Cabinets
  2. Beneath Drywall
  3. Behind Floor Baseboards
  4. Basements/Crawl Spaces
  5. Water-Damaged Areas
  6. Rooms / Areas with High Relative Humidity
  7. Above Ceiling
  8. Beneath Bathroom/Kitchen Sinks
  9. Behind Wallpaper
  10. Moist Window Frames
  11. Inside Wall Cavities
  12. Particle Board Material
  13. Fiberglass Insulation and/or Backing and other Insulation Material
  14. Flooring
  15. Ductwork/HVAC Systems
  16. Evaporative Coolers (a.k.a. Swamp Coolers)
  17. Refrigerators
  18. Plant Pots
  19. Cracked/Peeling Paint
  20. Sweating Pipes
  21. Shower Curtains

For common areas that you clean regularly, such as bathrooms, there are cleaners on the market which help to kill mildew and may help you keep it from returning. Remember that if you have a problem mold area, the biggest issue is to reduce or eliminate humidity. This should help you to get rid of the mold.

If you think you might have a serious mold problem, testing can help. As indicated by the above list of places where mold can grow, mold may be growing where you can't see it.

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